Drifter Pale Ale - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Drifter Pale AleDrifter Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

405 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 405
Hads: 955
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 7.92%
Wants: 23
Gots: 36 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: madtappers on 12-23-2008

availability: year-round
bitterness: 32 IBU
alcohol by volume: 5.7%
original gravity: 14.0° PLATO

malts:
Pale, Caramel 20L, Caravienne 20L, Caramel 80L, Carapils

hops:
Bittering: Alchemy
Aroma: Summit, Nelson Sauvin
Dry Hopped: Summit, Nelson Sauvin
View: Beers (75) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 405 | Hads: 955
Photo of Ethanol4one
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent balance of hops with rich, if slightly muted and slightly over attenuated malty flavors. I like this beer.

The head looks bottle aged, with those awesome micro bubbles you'll find on Guinness or in a bottle aged Belgian ale that uses Champaign yeast to top it off. I just got served a second, which looked flat, and within 30 second, it's got a head like a Guinness (but tasting nothing like it).

It's deceptive, almost like a big, thin, rice brewed commercial lager but with twice the flavor and punch, or kick in the chops, however you like to think of ABV. Not very hoppy on the nose either, so you still may think you're going to get a basic lager flavor until the malt meets hops toward the back of the mouth.

Compares well to Sam Adams and blows away Shock Top sitting next to it on tap, like a vainglorious David Lee Roth posing next to, say, The Killers. Drifter's Tap handle is pretty cool too, like a clean, cartoonishly retro life saver resting on deck, there for you, in case you need it.

It's all over Florida, so it's there for you if you're lurking around the sunny-rainy "Sunshine" state. Unlike Florida, this beer always appears to deliver. (1,175 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
4.14/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle marked 1548-NH-JUN1912. Sampled on December 9, 2012.

The color of the pour is medium to rusty-amber with a slight haze and no head to speak of.

There are plenty of sensations on the nose including sweet malts, floral hops, and dark fruit.

The body is about medium and creamy.

The taste is something I can remember with a sweet malt flavor up front and quickly followed by dark fruit like pomegranate then a medium floral hop bitterness to tie it all together at the end. Likable through and through. (531 characters)

Photo of mckenziac
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass. Taken from a Widmer Bros. variety pack.

Appearance: Pours a dull, amber color. Has a large, foamy head that dissipates slowly and leaves some decent lacing.

Smell: Smells strongly of piney and spicy hops.

Taste: Strong hop bitterness up front. Finishes earthy and piney with a bit of caramel maltiness.

Mouthfeel: A bit on the light-bodied side for a pale ale.

Overall: A fairly by-the-numbers APA, but a decent beer nonetheless. Nothing I'd go out of my way for, but nothing I'd turn my nose up at either. (579 characters)

Photo of Azntaiji
3.36/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought in a six pack, 12 oz bottle. Poured into oversized wine glass.

Pours a beautiful amber with a huge head.

Smells decent and sweet, although nothing that stands out among similar pale ales.

Tasted okay, again nothing astounding. Just tastes like a low IBU pale ale. Very crisp, and very drinkable for a pale ale.

Overall not a beer that stands out among the rest, but a good session ale. I probably won't buy it again though. (434 characters)

Photo of NoCurse2012
4.46/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is the "go to" beer of choice. In my opinion, it is the best $7 six pack in the grocery store. Widmer does a great job of producing a high quality beer at an average Joe price. This is the working man's craft beer. Great amber color with just enough bite to remind you that it is a high quality beer, without the sticker shock. (332 characters)

Photo of CHickman
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer review from 10/27/12: pours cloudy copper amber color with a big foamy 2 finger off white head that faded very slowly, leaving very good spotty lacing and a layer on top.

Smells of sweet malt, grains, herbs, tea leaf, caramel, light citrus hops, orange peel and wet wheat bread; overall malty and sweet smelling with light hoppy and herbal notes.

Tastes like it smells, with sweet malt, grains, herbs, tea leaf, caramel, citrus hops, orange peel, floral hops, biscuit and wet wheat bread; overall malty and sweet with enough hop balance to make it flow down like water. No real fruity sweetness, but still pretty good.

Mouthfeel is light and on the thin side, with average carbonation and a medium body that is pretty well balanced.

Overall a good pale ale that was above average with it leaning towards the malty side versus a hoppy pale ale. Easy drinking with just enough hops to let it flow like a good pale ale should. (935 characters)

Photo of IronLover
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep copper orange in color with good clarity. Poured with a short off-white foam that reduced to a wispy cap that left a ladder of sticky lacings down the glass. Sweet caramel and ripe orange aromas with resinous pine beneath. Buttery smooth feel with slighty subdued carbonation. Sweet caramel and fruity flavors out of the gate that quickly transition to a resinous pine hoppiness to the end. Finishes crisp and dry. (419 characters)

Photo of yesyouam
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Widmer Brothers Drifter Pale Ale is a very clear, sparkling, amber ale with a soft, thin, off white head that leaves nice lacing. It has a fresh hop aroma, like pine trees, sweet caramel and a light toastiness. It's pretty light bodied and very smooth with a clean, dry finish. It has a lightly bitter, grassy, floral flavor. It tastes very tea like; very herbal. It's very refreshing. It's clean, but not weak. It's very drinkable. (432 characters)

Photo of GMB
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Widmer's "The Original Drifter Pale Ale" pours a clear tawny body that, when held up to the ceiling light, admits rays of light reds, oranges, yellows. A sturdy pour produces a head with some stamina.

The nose is strong and focused. Grapefruit and hoppy floral aromas dominate.

The first sip is excellent. The hops-derived flavor is clean, and the malt provides just enough sweetness. Notes of caramel and butterscotch complement the main hop-derived flavors of grapefruit and chrysanthemum. Subsequent sips begin to seem a bit watery. This brew would be helped by a bit more malt.

Widmer's "The Original Drifter Pale Ale" manages to be both hop-forward and drinkable. One of the ways it accomplishes this is by offering clean, focused hop tastes and aromas with a light malty backbone. The latter lets it down a bit, otherwise this beer would have earned a solid 4.0. (872 characters)

Photo of B-Rad
2.53/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I'm not a fan of this ale. I kept getting this tasted of body odor while drinking it. It looked nice in the glass- a pretty amber color with carbon bubbles rising. Interestingly it didn't smell of body odor; it has a sweet hoppy aroma. The mouthfeel was kind of thin. I just cannot get over the body odor flavor to it. I poured it into a glass to let it breathe thinking that the BO like flavor was from bottle skunk but the flavor didn't change much. I would not recommed this ale to anyone. (492 characters)

Photo of alexgash
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Bottled on July 31, 2012.

Hearty copper body. Clear and clean. Finger of moderately thick, light beige head. Not much lacing. Toasted, almost nutty, malt aromas mix with fruit, pine, and citrus zest. A little resin around the edges too.

Toasted grains lead off, quickly followed by piny, resinous hop bitterness. Biscuit and light fruit malt fill in. Resin and citrus hop bitterness into the dryer finish. Lingering caramel, orange citrus and leafy hops. Moderate body with a smooth feel. Decent pale ale. (522 characters)

Photo of pkalix
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours with a small head which lingers with a quarter inch head throughout. orange-molasses color and clear.
smell is pine-y, some grapefruit.
taste is about the same. definitely leaning toward the hop side. widmer is such an 'available' brand here but i dont see what everyone else sees in the brand. it's decent, though....
mouthfeel= eh, decent, carbonation is medium.
overall, a decent brew. more hoppy than i prefer, but i can see its finer points. still trying to get into the hoppier brews and understand them. guess i'm just a 'traditionalist' (?) and subscribe to the maltier recipes i became accustomed to when i though germany was the world of beer. (659 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is slightly hazy amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense beige head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are pleasant light aromas of passionfruit in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell but is a bit stronger with subtle flavors of passionfruit and pale malts along with a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a very drinkable pale ale that has interesting aromas and flavors imparted by the Nelson Sauvin hops. There is a good balance between the malt and hops because you can taste the hop flavors but these aren’t accompanied by a strong bitterness like an IPA. (850 characters)

Photo of purplesugar
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ya know, if this beer had blew me away, I would do the whole ASTMO thing and spend more time on it. But, it WAS a pleasant surprise. I love their spiced ipa, and was skeptical to try this PA (cause I often stick to IPA's), but it was good. Citrus-y. (249 characters)

Photo of jjboesen
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a crisp, refreshing quaff that hits the right buttons: there is the semi-translucent copper body topped by a thin head, one which results in moderate lacing; there is the mild nose of grass; these are supported by a light floral taste with a subtle touch of tangerine in the mix. There is the pleasing, but light, fade that replenishes a dry palate on a hot day.

If you think about downing a sixer in an afternoon, this could be the beer with which to do it. (468 characters)

Photo of mrfreakybig
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on draft, poured into a big old plastic cup.

I'm sure it could be because it was a gorgeous summer day, but from the second I sat down behind this beer, I was happy. It tasted like a straight, down-the-middle pale ale should. Malty, the right amount of hops, some foam. The color was bubbly amber. I enjoyed this beer deeply, and could easily have spent the day happily drinking them. No tricks or surprises here, just a hands-down easy-going happy-drinking pale ale. I can't wait to have another. (509 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled 17MAY12

Amber with an etched white surface and excellent clarity. No lace. Smells herbal with a slight resin character and a bit of canned spinach alongside the crystal malt which is sweet but not overplayed. Slightly bitter with a good moderated malt through the center and a fine overall pale character. Nice and limited body with slightly low carb and an off dry finish. Nice beer. (393 characters)

Photo of troutmask96
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very mediocre, yet very sessionable pale ale here. Pours to medium amber with exceptional clarity. Nice fruity-herbal smell with minimal alcohol. Taste is clean and crisp - this would be an excellent, not-heavy amber for a hot summer evening. It's just another beer, but if the price is right, I'll pick it up again... (318 characters)

Photo of dannydetox
3.57/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

had a sale on sixers of drifter - $4.99! excellent at that price, but i'll put that aside for the moment. drifter pours an orange-ish copper color with a white head that leaves a little lacing clinging to the side of my pint glass. aroma is citrus, some pacific pine notes in there too from the summit and nelson hops. very quaffable, with a light body across the palate. pretty well balanced with the caramel malts and hops each making themselves known. finishes a touch on the sweeter side, but still has that west coast pale ale hop presence. a fine session beer that isn't a game-changer, yet will satisfy enthusiasts and novices alike. (640 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear copper-orange color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some light lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel malt with some biscuit and some grapefruit and pine hops.

T - Starts off with some sweet caramel malts with some grapefruit hops and a touch of bitterness. Through the middle, some pine hop with some more bitterness comes through with some biscuit malts. The finish is a mix of sweet malts with some citrus hops and some light bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry and bitter finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nicely balanced and crisp pale ale. Good hop and malt balance. (692 characters)

Photo of greybeardloon
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Marked Feb 15 12

A: Dark red. Some retention, nice lace.

S: Sweet citrus hops. Not much else, but it's nice.

T: The hops are more subdued than on the nose, and there is very little bittering. Some sweet grapefruit does come through though. The sweet caramel malt is much more prominent than on the nose. Fairly uninteresting to me.

M: medium thin and fairly spritely.

O: An overly sweet and uninteresting pale ale. (423 characters)

Photo of intensify
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fruity notes on the nose such as orange peel, apricot and various spices. Also, has a grassy aroma with a slight biscuity tone. Taste follows closely behind. Cracked pepper and a semi hoppy backbone. Tropical fruits remind you of the style. Close to a california Pale Ale, but not quite. Medium bodied with a good kick of carbonation. (334 characters)

Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Newick's in South Portland, ME:

In a pint glass:

A: clear, golden amber colored boy with a one finger white head that left spotty yet foamy lacing, some rings were left in the wak. No carbonation was seen rising.

S: some citrus, hops and mild malts.

T: basically the same.

M: medium with a decent amount of carbonation felt but came across slightly smooth

O: this was a good beer. There was nothing that made it stand out, but it was still very good and would make me want to have this any time or any place. (524 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, pours copper in color with a thin beige head that leaves no lacing on the glass. Aromas are fruity and sweet with floral hops and caramel malt. Tastes are similar to aromas - fruity, overly sweet caramel maltiness, still floral and refreshing. Thin body and low carbonation, but smooth. Overall, nice meld of flavors, but could have used a bit more bitterness to balance out the sweetness. Still pretty good though, altough I wouldn't seek it out again. (466 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
3.16/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap 2 Miller's Alehouse-Destin, FL.

Poured nice near clear sunny color with a finger of off-white head.

The aroma was faint with some earthy hop tones and a crisp malt profile.

I'm not sure the temperature was right for this...it was cold. Felt colder than the ice water I was drinking. Bit of maltiness, with a crisp earthy hop profile, though again, like with the aroma, it was mild.

Light to upper light in body

It was decent. I will definitely still grab some bottles if I ever find some. (504 characters)

Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 405 ratings.